Monday, February 09, 2009

An Unhealthy Obsession.

Great excitement among my male silk moths this morning; each one was wildly flapping his wings. The reason was that another female moth had emerged. Already one male had mated with her, and another was trying to attach himself to her too. Now that I know about the pheromone, it all makes sense.

I removed the extra male as gently as possible, and then put the mating pair (stripy male and female) in another box to give them a little peace. At once the rest calmed down. That pheromone is a powerful molecule, but it seems that once the source is removed the effect soon fades away.

I then managed, at last, to separate yesterday's happily mating couple (stripy female-unstripy male), removed the male, and after waiting a few seconds replaced the paper under the female - which was now dirty. She then promptly started to lay her eggs. It were as if I had given her permission.

I am trying to leave the silk moths alone now, and divert my mind back to the Patagonia novel. I want to try and finish the Tehuelche edits this week because I have to give in the revised manuscript to my editor at Seren in March.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tsk. Typical male behaviour.

Mon Feb 09, 10:58:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Heh, heh...

Mon Feb 09, 03:21:00 pm  
Blogger Jud said...

Yes, I can recall many a night at the bars wildly flapping my wings trying to attract the females for conjoining.

Mon Feb 09, 04:47:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Oh wonderful, Jud! And they say romance is dead!:-)

Mon Feb 09, 10:53:00 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

I am tempted to wonder what your next book will be about C...

It's so exciting reading about each day's new discoveries. It's like seeing science in action. And I know that sounds trite, but the way you write it is anything but :)

Tue Feb 10, 10:27:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

I have a lot of projects I am dying to do, Barbara! I'm kind of doing them all at the same time - or rather a little bit here and there when I get the chance!

Just read the end of your comment...oh thank you, that's so kind!

Tue Feb 10, 11:08:00 pm  
Blogger jem said...

Good to read all the latest on the moths. You are like an expectant mother. It must be hard to tear yourself away from them. Surely there is material for a future novel in all of this?

I hope you get successful results from the eggs that have been laid. I feel this story has more chapters to come.

Thu Feb 12, 12:01:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thanks, Jem - yes I think there could be a novel in all this too! The silkworm's life seems such a great metaphor for ours in some ways.

Thu Feb 12, 10:06:00 pm  

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